As a first-world country, Australia keeps good public records, most of which are available online. In other words, if you are looking for a long-lost friend in Australia, there's a good chance that you will find him. Facebook is global and should be your first stop. After that, you can try digging into people-finding search engines and the Australian White pages.
Find a Profile on Facebook
In terms of finding anyone, anywhere, Facebook is the obvious place to start. Almost seven in 10 Australians use the social media platform on a regular basis, so the chances are good that your friend has a profile. You can search by typing the person's name into the search bar; this will pull up matching profiles anywhere in the world. If your friend has a common name, try narrowing the location using the "location" tab under the "people" icon at the left side of the page. If Facebook comes back empty, then try some other social networks such as Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. All of these sites have an active Australian user base.
Basic Google Searches
Google is another convenient jumping-off point for finding information about your long-lost friend in Australia. Simply type her name into the search box and see what comes back, or include other qualifying information such as a city you know where she lived, a former school or university, or an employer she had. If you put the search terms in quotations marks and include plus signs – "+Lisa +Simpson +Perth" – this tells Google to include only matches that have all three search terms, without requiring a specific phrase match. It's a good idea to run several Google searches before you resort to paid-for information.
Certain people-finding websites that are popular in the United States also hold records on people in Australia. Pipl.com, for example, seems to be good at returning international results. Pipl searches the so-called deep web, which is basically non-indexed web pages such as personal profiles, corporate bios and email addresses. The site returns results very quickly with a photo of the person attached. You can search the database by typing in a name and optionally, a city. If there's a match, you should get your friend in Australia’s address and telephone number. Be aware that you may have to pay a onetime fee to access this information.
Australia White Pages
Millions of residential listings are available for free on the Australia White Pages. To run a search, navigate to the site, click the "residential" tab, then input your friend's surname and initial. You can narrow the result by city or territory if you know roughly where your friend lives. The site will return any matching names along with the person's address and telephone number. The drawback is that if your friend has a common name, you may get a lot of matches. You can either hit the phones and call everyone on the list until you find the correct person, or you could put the address into Pipl and look at the photo that comes up in the search results. As long as you know what your friend looks like, cross-referencing the information will let you know for certain that you've find your friend in Australia.
- Don't keep your search to yourself. The more people who know you're looking for your friend, the better the chances of someone stumbling across some information that could help you find her.
- If somebody doesn't want to be found, they probably won't be. Australia has a lot of undiscovered country in which a person may choose to seclude themselves from society.
A former corporate real estate lawyer, Jayne Thompson writes about law, business and personal finance, drawing on 17 years’ experience in the legal sector. She holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Birmingham and a Masters in International Law from the University of East London. Her work has appeared on numerous legal blogs including Quittance, Upcounsel and Medical Negligence Experts. Find her at www.whiterosecopywriting.com.